Early Child Development and Care Restricted Call for Manuscripts for Special Issue

Contemplating and Probing Issues of Conceptualization, Measurement and Policy of ECEC Quality in Europe and in the USA

Early Child Development and Care

The economic recession of recent years highlights the need for reorganizing education and health systems, as well as welfare and public domains (Rentzou, 2015). As Taguma, Litjens, and Makowiecki (2012) maintained, "In recent years, the underpinning principles for policy intervention are shifting from a current-income, social-welfare model to a life-cycle, human capital development model" (p. 14).

Of special interest in this context is the sector of early childhood education and care (ECEC), since investment in ECEC has been proven to have short- and long- term effects both on children’s overall development (for an overview see Melhuish et al., 2015) and on societies’ social and economic development (see OECD, 2012).

This argument is founded on research indicating both that the first years of life are a critical period in life and the cost-effectiveness of ECEC.

However, the benefits of ECEC are conditional on quality (OECD, 2012; Melhuish et al., 2015), since according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Early Child Care Research Network (2003), the amount of experiences, the stability and type of care, and the quality of the experiences are the variables that have the most pervasive consequences for the child’s development.

Despite extensive research in the field of ECEC quality, this field remains blurry. Starting from the relativeness and multidimensionality of the concept of ECEC quality, continuing with the elusiveness of quality measurement (Rentzou, 2017) and culminating in the fact that Europe and the USA do not have a joint policy or approach for ECCE and provision of high quality experiences, since every European country and USA state has a unique policy for ECCE, there is a need to capture information about ECCE policies in different countries and to establish a systemic and integrated approach.

This Restricted Call for Manuscripts extends an invitation to ECEC in Europe Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Special Interest Forum (SIF) members and to guest members of the ACEI SIF to share with a global audience country profiles about ECEC quality dimensions in their respective countries.



Melhuish, E., Ereky-Stevens, K., Petrogiannis, K., Ariescu, A., Penderi, E., Rentzou, K., Tawell, A., Leseman, P., and Broekhuisen, P. (2015). A review of research on the effects of early childhood education and care (ECEC) on child development. Report submitted to Brussels as part of the WP4.1 Curriculum and quality analysis impact review, CARE. Brussels: European Commission (No publishable version yet).

OECD (2012). Starting strong III: A quality toolbox for early childhood education and care. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Rentzou, K. (2017). Using rating scales to evaluate quality early childhood education and care: Reliability issues. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 25(5). (accepted for publication, provisionally scheduled for publication in Volume 25 Issue 5, 2017 edition of the EECER Journal).

Rentzou, K. (2015). Reflections on the quality of the dichotomous early childhood education and care system in Greece. Childhood Education, 91(4), 250-258.

Taguma, M., Litjens, I., & Makowiecki, K. (2012). Quality matters in early childhood education and care: United Kingdom (England). Paris, France: OECD Publishing.

Submission Instructions

Types of manuscripts sought

We seek manuscripts addressing ECEC quality in a broader sense: Apart from effects of various indicators of ECEC quality on child development, manuscripts may focus on the following topics of interest:

  • Conceptualization of ECEC quality from various perspectives (e.g. ECEC professionals, children, parents, etc)
  • State policies on structural and/or process characteristics of ECEC quality
  • ECEC quality measurement
  • ECEC professional and parental evaluations of ECEC quality
  • Playful pedagogy and ECEC quality
  • Interrogating the boundaries between education and care
  • Current ECEC policies in your country concerning ECEC
  • ECEC quality and/or provision for under-three’s
  • Level of ECEC quality provided by different preschool programs
  • ECEC quality and National Curriculum

We welcome and look forward to receiving a wide-ranging collection of thought-provoking contributions that extend across research methodologies and that emulate the high standard of previous contributions to the ECDC. Overall, the aim of the Call is to contribute towards generating authentic high quality country specific information and research which may support countries revisiting their vision about ECEC provision.

Deadline for submissions

Please e-mail an abstract in 12 point font of no more than 250 words to c.rentzou@external.euc.ac.cy or ruslan.slutsky@utoledo.edu, by 30th April 2017 -or a statement of intent to submit an abstract prior to this date. Please put ECDC Special Issue in the subject line

Abstracts will be reviewed for fit. You will be informed if the article is invited for review. If it is accepted, we will also e-mail you the author guidelines and additional details. Further deadlines for review and publication will be sent to authors upon approval of the abstract. Full manuscripts are due by 30th July 2017: editors may agree a later date in exceptional circumstances.

The submission should be made on-line through the Journal’s website. The Journal publishers are Taylor and Francis who utilize the Scholar One management system. Submitted manuscripts will undergo peer-review, and authors will normally receive the results of the review within six weeks after submission of their manuscripts. If authors wish to nominate peer reviewers this can be helpful, bearing in mind they should be leaders in their field. Papers which are deemed to require some further work or specific change will be informed of this by the Editors subsequent to peer review.

The intention is to develop a set of papers in their final approved form before the end of December 2017. In which case, all papers will be published on-line in final form by the end of January 2018. These will be fully citable until the hard copy is released later in the Spring.

Editorial information